In this factsheet by Richard Fletcher, Alessio Cornia, Lucas Graves and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, we offer high-level use data for the most popular sites that independent fact-checkers and other observers have actually identified as publishers of false news and online disinformation. We focus on 2 European countries: France and Italy. We take a look at France and Italy as two especially crucial cases, as both are widely viewed as dealing with serious issues with for-profit and ideologically/politically determined online disinformation.
We discover that:
- None of the false news websites we thought about had an average month-to-month reach of over 3.5% in 2017, with the majority of reaching less than 1% of the online population in both France and Italy. By contrast, the most popular news websites in France (Le Figaro) and Italy (La Repubblica) had a typical month-to-month reach of 22.3% and 50.9%, respectively;
- The overall time invested with false news sites each month is lower than the time invested with news websites. The most popular false news sites in France were seen for around 10 million minutes monthly, and for 7.5 million minutes in Italy. People spent approximately 178 million minutes each month with Le Monde, and 443 million minutes with La Repubblica– more than the combined time invested with all 20 incorrect news sites in each sample;
- Regardless of clear distinctions in regards to site access, the level of Facebook interaction (specified as the overall variety of remarks, shares, and reactions) created by a little number of incorrect news outlets matched or exceeded that produced by the most popular news brand names. In France, one incorrect news outlet produced approximately over 11 million interactions per month– five times greater than more recognized news brands. Nevertheless, most of the times, in both France and Italy, false news outlets do not produce as many interactions as recognized news brands.
We have revealed that many of the most prominent identified incorrect news sites in these countries are far less popular than major recognized news sites. Nevertheless, the distinction between false news sites and news sites in terms of interactions on Facebook is less specific. Our company believe that online disinformation is a crucial problem that the general public, publishers, platform companies, policymakers, and other stakeholders need to pay major attention to. However in general, our analysis of the offered proof suggests that incorrect news has more minimal reach than is often assumed.
Download Determining the reach of “phony news” and online distribution in Europe